We hope it never happens, but smart North Texas rental property owners make plans to care for renters and protect their properties in case of a fire.
- Are your property and business prepared?
- Do your renters know what to do if a fire breaks out in your rental home?
In 2019, the estimated financial loss of homes to fires was around $14.8 billion. It's an expensive disaster to deal with—and it can also damage your relationship with residents if you don't take the proper steps to prevent fires in your rentals. Even if your renters suffer property damage from a fire in the home, you can preserve the relationship and help renters recover with preparation and immediate action.
What should North Texas real estate investors do to tackle fire safety for their rentals? Follow these tips from the expert North Texas property management team at RentHub!
A quick note: This article is not a substitute for legal counsel. If you need real-time aid, turn to the property management experts at RentHub!
Investors have a responsibility to provide a safe home for residents. No matter the cause of a fire, preparing your property and investment business to weather a potential fire is a smart way to minimize the impact on your income while protecting the people who live in your rentals.
The Right Equipment
Equip every one of your North Texas rental properties with safety equipment to alert residents to a potential fire. With the right equipment, you and your renters can prevent a severe fire event, extensive damage, property loss, or injury.
Every property should have:
- Smoke alarms: Experts recommend an average of five alarms for every resident. Place smoke detectors on every level and one in every bedroom.
- A fire extinguisher: Placing one fire extinguisher near the kitchen can prevent small fires from spreading through the property.
When conducting property inspections, don't forget to check the smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. Replace the batteries in the detectors according to the manufacturer's instructions. Update fire extinguishers every few years or when a new renter moves in.
Landscaping and Property Safety
Choosing FireWise landscaping and prioritizing maintenance can help reduce the potential for your North Texas rental property to act as an ignition source for a fire.
- As part of your routine rental property maintenance, keep gutters clear of leaves and branches.
- Remove debris from around the property, and address roofing repairs right away.
- Installing mesh screens over the windows can keep embers from escaping the home and igniting nearby trees or landscaping.
Before you suffer losses due to a fire, make sure you have the right investing insurance coverage in place. Your North Texas property management team can help you determine the coverage you need and work with your insurance company if it becomes necessary.
Caring for Your Renters
Dealing with a fire can be a frightening experience for your residents. Preparation can help them quickly get to safety, recover better, and appreciate your efforts to keep them safe.
Making renters insurance a requirement to qualify for your renters is one of the best things you can do for your properties and residents. With an active renters insurance policy, your residents can file a claim and receive compensation for property loss, living expenses while they're displaced from your North Texas rental, and reimbursement for some medical costs (if needed).
Review Safety Equipment and Procedures
Stocking your properties with smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher only helps if your residents understand how to respond and use them.
- When welcoming new renters, show them the location of each smoke detector and extinguisher.
- Make sure they know to inform you or your North Texas property management company if any of these critical safety tools aren't working correctly.
- It's also smart to keep an eye on your properties during inspections.
- Alert renters to potential fire hazards like unsafe kitchen use, too many plugs in an outlet, or candles in dangerous places.
Create an Escape and Contact Plan
When a fire starts in your rental property, residents need to prioritize getting to safety.
- In your renter welcome packet, include an escape plan to help renters exit your property safely.
- Direct residents to find the nearest exits (either doors or windows away from the fire's source).
- Instruct them to move a safe distance away from the home to a designated spot.
- When your renters are safe, they should call 911.
- They should also contact you or your North Texas property management company.
Alerting us to the fire as soon as they can helps us take care of your residents and start assessing your property and damage right away.
Let a Property Manager Put Fire Safety First
Your North Texas rental property and renters are valuable! While a property is replaceable, the lives of your renters are not. Protect them by following good safety practices, applying preventive measures, and preparing for the worst—even though we hope a fire never happens in your rentals.
With RentHub's North Texas property management expertise, your properties always have a watchful eye! We take every precaution to prevent fires and work with your renters to keep them safe. Contact us to learn more about our property management services.